Re: Guest octothorpes in phone numbers

Subject: Re: Guest octothorpes in phone numbers
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 1996 07:25:40 PDT

>I cannot believe this discussion.

>Robert Plamondon was right[...]

Trivial discussions aren't the worst of it! Trivial discussions lead
to postings about the triviality of the discussions, which lead to postings
about postings about the triviality of the discussions.

Meta-meta-discussions about trivial topics are at least three removes
away from useful information.

(I'd complain bitterly about this, except that I'm doing it myself right now.)

The trick, of course, is to avoid posting anything that you think someone
else will post. For example, the answers:

* Octothorp[e],

* Pound sign,

* Hash marks,

* Hey, I just call 'em all "squiggle,"

* Octothorp[e] was a JOKE, for god's sake, don't be such a sucker,

* Real writers all {already know this, know how to look this up}

are all utterly predictable. It's virtually guaranteed that two or
three people will post each one. Thus, I recommend NOT POSTING a
reply unless you have an especially obscure or personal source of
information, or if a couple of days have gone by and no one else has

Any simple, factual request to the list will generate a couple of
dozen replies, many of which are factually incorrect. Thus, I recommend
NOT POSTING simple queries to the group.


1. How many people will post answers to these review questions to the
group, in spite of pointed hints to the contrary?

2. How many people will post messages saying, "I'm with you" (but
add nothing to the discussion)?

3. How many total responses will quote my entire message, while:
a) responding to a single paragraph
b) starting a completely new topic

4. How many people will complain that meta-meta-discussions are not
legitimate, thus starting a meta-meta-meta-discussion?

Read tomorrow's digest for the answers (the non-digest version of
techwr-l was made obsolete by the invention of fire).

-- Robert
Robert Plamondon, President/Managing Editor, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139

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